Brighten your itinerary with one of these Pennsylvania fall festivals.
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Pioneer Evergreen Farms Fall Festival
Orwigburg, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Every weekend, Sept. 1–Oct. 31
The uber-family friendly festival includes an obstacle course, bounce house, water-balloon launcher, 200-foot water slide, pumpkin patch, hot dog and s’mores roast, tree maze and petting zoo. Catch an eyeful of fall foliage on a hayride into Pennsylvania’s east-central mountains, and fill your stomach with delicious barbecue, locally harvested produce and much more.
Kennett Square, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Sept. 6–7, 2014
Expect "tons of fun(gi)" in Kennett Square, a supplier of more than 65 percent of mushrooms consumed in the U.S. Head to the Mushroom Festival for a mushroom soup cook-off, Cute-as-a-Button Baby Photo Contest, Mushroom Run/Walk, cooking demonstrations and educational seminars from celebrity chefs, a street fair with more than 200 vendors and the National Fried Mushroom Eating Championship.
Flax Scutching Festival
Stahlstown, Laurel Highlands
Sept. 13–14, 2014
Learn about the fascinating art of flax scrutching and linen cloth production from flax plants during this 107-year-old festival. Experience hands-on demonstrations, homemade food and pastries, live shows, crafts, wagon-trail train rides and more.
Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival
Forksville, Upstate PA
Sept. 19–21, 2014
Join thousands of bowhunters as they participate in festival events designed to entertain and prepare archers for the upcoming hunting season. Shooting activities include the famous Forksville Running Deer target, mechanical bear and turkey targets and pop-up and moving small-game targets. Visitors can also enjoy food and product vendors, entertainment and more.
Peanut Butter Festival
New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Wilds
Sept. 19–21, 2014
Celebrate jelly’s companion at New Bethlehem’s Peanut Butter Festival, where you can participate in a mountain bike race, 5K race, parade, classic car cruise, tractor show, carnival, motorcycle show and watch the crowning of the Peanut Butter Festival Queen. There will also be fireworks, the Subway sandwich-eating contest and an Elvis tribute show—what else could you ask for?
61th Annual Farmers National Bank Autumn Leaf Festival
Clarion, Pennsylvania Wilds
Sept. 19–28, 2014
Some of Mother Nature’s most impressive fall colors surround this festival, featuring the gigantic Tournament of Leaves Parade, sidewalk sale, a carnival, firework, autorama, antique tractor show, concerts, automotive light and sound competition and a crafters’ day with more than 300 vendors.
Pennsylvania Fiber ArtsFest
Huntingdon, The Alleghenies
Sept. 19–20, 2014
Crafters from near and far can dive into fiber-related arts at the Pennsylvania Fiber ArtsFest, which features educational exhibits, demonstrations, classes and vendors showcasing the fibrous crafts of knitting, beading and spinning.
Wellsboro Wine and Art Tour
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Wilds
Sept. 20, 2014
Ten businesses on Wellsboro’s picturesque Main Street host wine tastings paired with light snacks and accompanied by a local artisan, author or musician. Sample wine, peruse Wellsboro’s charming boutiques and stop at Patterson Maple Farms, Mansfield Growers Market and Mansfield Cider Mill for locally sourced treats. Tour tickets include a commemorative wine glass, tickets for tastings and access to a free designated driver.
159th Annual Bloomsburg Fair
Bloomsburg, Valleys of the Susquehanna
Sept. 20–27, 2014
The Bloomsburg Fair, Pennsylvania’s largest agricultural show, boasts big-name musical acts (this year’s lineup includes ZZ Top, Little Big Town and Chris Young), a monorail ride, food and craft stands and hundreds of exhibits, including livestock, poultry and rabbit displays (more than 1,400 animals will be present).
43rd Annual Covered Bridge Festival
Carmichaels and Garards Fort, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Sept. 21–22, 2014
Celebrate picturesque covered “kissing bridges,” a symbol of small-town America and simpler times, at bridges in Garards Fort and Carmichaels — two of seven remaining covered bridges in Greene County. The events include historical reenactments, live music, homemade treats and crafts. Find more covered bridges in Pennsylvania >>
Harvest Fest at Cherry-Crest Farm
Ronks, Dutch Country Roads
Saturdays, Sept. 21–Oct. 26, 2014
Highlights of this festival include the Amazing Maize Maze™, a 5-acre maze in the middle of a cornfield and pick-your-own pumpkin and popcorn (visitors can pick an ear right off the stalk and take it home to pop in the microwave). Other activities include scarecrow making, face painting, pony rides, pumpkin painting and pumpkin slinging.
Fabulous 1890s Weekend
Mansfield, Pennsylvania Wilds
Sept. 26–27, 2014
Mansfield, home of the first high football game (Sept. 28, 1892), celebrates its proud sports heritage with a replay of the historical game. The old-fashioned festival also features craft exhibits, delicious food, a parade, 1890s museum, balloon rides, live music, Civil War reenactment and fireworks.
33rd Annual Wine Country Harvest Festival
North East, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Sept. 26–28, 2014
Toast to North East’s wine harvest with events in three different parks. Activities include grape-stomping demonstrations, wine by the glass from 12 different wineries, live music from more than 20 bands, a craft sale from local artisans and a car show. Don’t miss the Bed Race & Parade on Saturday and the Stomp & Stride 5K on Sunday! View listings for wineries in Pennsylvania >>
Fall Fest at Hershey Gardens
Hershey, Dutch Country Roads
Sept. 27, 2014
Hershey Gardens blooms with autumn fun during its Fall Fest, a new event at the 23-acre botanical facility. Bring the kids for scarecrow stuffing and pumpkin carving, and gather tips on how to clean up your yard for fall. Admission to the festival is included in the general ticket price.
Ebensburg, The Alleghenies
Sept. 27, 2014
The spud, one of Cambria County's biggest agricultural exports, is the star of this annual festival, where potato sack races, potato-peeling contests and Miss Tater/Mr. Tot competitions are enjoyed by all. Live music fills the air and more than 200 crafters and artisans line the streets selling homemade wares and food, including potatoes prepared in every way you could possibly imagine.
Alameda Fall Festival
Butler, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Sept. 27, 2014
Alameda hosts a fishing tournament for young anglers at their annual fall festival in addition to fair food, games, face painting, live music, a petting zoo, 5K run and the Annual Alameda Fall Fest Car Cruise.
McConnells Mill Heritage Festival
Pottersville, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Sept. 27–28, 2014
The town’s historic gristmill, home to crucial grain-grinding machinery, is the center of this festival. Relive history by touring the mill, which operated from 1852 to 1928, shopping for period crafts sold by costumed vendors and view demonstrations by artisans and craftsman. Live bluegrass music and a Civil War encampment also provide entertainment.
Freeport, Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Every weekend, Sept. 27–Oct. 26, 2014
Whether you fancy them perfectly round, teeny tiny, or large and asymmetrical, you’ll find your pumpkin soul mate at Renshaw Family Farms. Enjoy hay rides, fall-inspired food and activities and more.
Covered Bridge and Arts Festival
Elysburg, Valleys of the Susquehanna
Oct. 2–5, 2014
A celebration of the arts at Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, this festival boasts more than 350 crafters, 35 food vendors, live entertainment, games, wagon rides and bus tours of local covered bridges. An agritourism fair, charity auction with tons of items donated by festival crafters and access to select Knoebel Amusement Park rides supply fun for the whole family.
Reading Leiderkranz Oktoberfest
Reading, Dutch Country Roads
Oct. 1–5, 2014
Touted as oldest and largest Oktoberfest in Pennsylvania, Reading Leiderkranz Oktoberfest offers the best of the spirited German tradition, including German dancers and singers, a beer-tapping ceremony, a parade and authentic German food and drinks.
Franklin, Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Oct. 3–5, 2014
No Applefest would be complete without pie-eating contests and a visit from Johnny Appleseed—both traditions at Franklin’s annual fall tradition. Enjoy live entertainment and shows, a classic and antique car show, farmers market, 5K race, more than 300 arts and crafts vendors and apple treats galore.
Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley
Oct. 3–12, 2014
The Pennsylvania-style German Oktoberfest is complete with a 100-by-240 foot “festhalle” tent (a signature Oktoberfest shelter), German food, games, polka bands and all the beer you can drink.
Shrewsbury Fall Festival
Shrewsbury, Dutch County Roads
Oct. 4, 2014
The citizens of Shrewbury deck out their town to match the transforming fall landscape for the Shrewsbury Fall Festival, where visitors can enjoy wine tasting, vendors selling arts, crafts and antiques and live entertainment.
National Apple Harvest Festival
Biglerville, Dutch Country Roads
Oct. 4–5, 11–12, 2014
Join more than 100,000 apple lovers near historic Gettysburg for live entertainment, orchard tours, antique tractor and car exhibits, hundreds of arts and craft vendors and tons of dishes inspired by the versatile fruit.
Pennsylvania Apple ‘n Cheese Festival
Canton, Upstate PA
Oct. 4–5, 2014
Head to Manley-Bohlayer Farm for a delicious weekend of apple and cheese desserts, apple displays, apple butter and cider making, wine and cheese tasting and 40 tempting food vendors. Also, enjoy broom-making, weaving and black-smithing demonstrations, chainsaw carving, a fine arts and photography show, continuous live entertainment and more.
Bedford Fall Foliage Festival
Bedford, The Alleghenies
Oct. 4–5, 11–12, 2014
Organized entirely by volunteers, the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival attracts about 70,000 attendees annually. Browse the work of more than 400 artists, and savor delicious food and live music. Other highlights include two murder-mystery evenings at Old Bedford Village, scarecrow making and an antique car parade.
National Apple Harvest Festival
Arendtsville, Dutch Country Roads
Oct. 4–5, 11–12, 2014
Bring your appetite for candied apples, homemade apple butter, applesauce and apple fritters. Located near Gettysburg, the National Apple Harvest Festival hosts chainsaw carving, steam-engine displays, orchard tours, a petting zoo, antique and classic car displays, puppet shows, pie-eating and baking contests and more than 300 arts and crafts vendors.
Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival
Jim Thorpe, Upstate PA
Oct. 4–5, 11–12, 18–19, 2014
The charming town of Jim Thorpe comes alive with autumn-infused activity for three weekends in October. The Reading & Northern Trains offer a rustic way to view the Pocono Mountains’ best fall foliage, while the entire town bustles with entertainment and sales of arts and crafts, food and antiques. Free music at venues all over town encourages visitors to explore the town’s quaint shops and restaurants, and the Mauch Chunk Opera House hosts ticketed entertainment every Saturday night.
Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival
Renovo, Pennsylvania Wilds
Oct. 10–12, 2014
Morphing leaves at their flaming peak set the stage for this colorful Renovo festival, which includes great food, crafts, a queen’s coronation and parade. Find more places to view fall foliage in Pennsylvania >>
Peter Wentz Farmstead Fall Harvest Outing
Worcester, Philadelphia and the Countryside
Try your hand at some traditional fall farm chores such as shelling corn, pressing cider and preserving food at Peter Wentz Farmstead, a farm established in 1744. Tour the garden and kitchen, and view the letter General George Washington wrote while he was stationed at the site during the Revolutionary War.
Fort Ligonier Days
Ligonier, Laurel Highlands
Oct. 10–12, 2014
This festival commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier, a key event of the French and Indian War. A living-history encampment exhibits frontier life, and the parade features historic floats, costumed characters and more. Highlights include battle reenactments, more than 150 craft booths, 25 food booths and live bands, including Civil War-era and Big Band music, gospel and bluegrass.
Punkin Chunkin Howard Volunteer Fire Company Fall Festival
Howard, Pennsylvania Wilds
At this fall festival, pumpkins are launched at nearly 100 miles per hour into Bald Eagle State Park’s lake. While watching orange cannons fly through the Pennsylvania sky, visitors enjoy food and craft vendors, live music, square dancing, pie-eating contests and hay rides.
Danville, Valleys of the Susquehanna
Oct. 25, 2014
Pumpkin fanatics unite in Danville for a big wheel race, pumpkin carving, a pie-eating contest, seed spitting and pumpkin catapults. Witness the one-of-a-kind Pumpkin Palooza Pandemonium, a family friendly competition of pumpkin-toting tricycles and Big Wheels. The town also hosts Brewza Palooza, which features local breweries, restaurants and live entertainment.
Shaver’s Creek Fall Harvest Festival
Petersburg, The Alleghenies
Oct. 25–26, 2014
Fall-themed contests highlight this festival, including baking, children’s costume and pumpkin-carving competitions. A Children’s Halloween Trail, featuring stations designed by Penn State students enrolled in an environmental interpretation class, articulates the natural history of Halloween rather than depicting the spooky tales often associated with the holiday.